Company wants to build portable reactors at SRS

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A plan to build and demonstrate a small modular nuclear reactor at Savannah River Site could evolve into a major manufacturing facility in the region, according to the chief executive officer of the private firm involved in the project.

"We think this is a very viable business," said John "Grizz" Deal, whose company, Hyperion Power Generation, plans to license and market a new breed of small, commercial reactors.

In October, the company announced a partnership with Savannah River National Laboratory in which private funds would be combined with the site's facilities and expertise to demonstrate a new line of portable, efficient reactors that could someday be deployed to power remote mining operations, military bases and other sites.

"We want to increase the U.S. competitiveness, and this is the place to do it," said Deal, the featured speaker during Wednesday night's Edward Teller Lecture sponsored by Citizens for Nuclear Technology Awareness. "Our goal is to turn on the first reactor somewhere in this community. And we'd also like to commit to building our factory here at Savannah River Site."

Such a manufacturing facility, he said, could create jobs and expand the region's tax base, while helping the nation remain competitive in a world where energy demand is expected to increase 76 percent by 2030.

The first reactor, costing $150 million to $200 million to build, could be completed and deployed by 2020, and its construction and operation could bring several hundred jobs. Most of the money will come from private sources.

Deal said the reactors, which must be licensed by federal regulators, would generate about 25 megawatts and last eight to 10 years. They would be portable, safe and factory-fueled.

Hyperion is one of two firms planning small reactors at SRS. Wilmington, N.C.-based GE Hitachi Nuclear Energy announced plans in October to create a prototype of GE's PRISM reactor, which recycles nuclear fuel to generate electricity. The PRISM's design would mostly power Savannah River Site.

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wildman 11/18/10 - 05:18 am
It will never happen!

It will never happen!

SCEagle Eye
SCEagle Eye 11/18/10 - 08:37 am
SRS vs Oak Ridge - the usual

SRS vs Oak Ridge - the usual fighting between sites has begun over "small modular reactors." Oak Ridge is looking at the Babcock & Wilcox-designed "mPower reactor." Hyperion seems to be signing many agreements to pursue its reactor, hoping something sticks. A sign of desperation? In any event, the NRC license must be in place before construction begins and this must be 100% privately financed as dependence on big government at SRS hits the budget wall. Splat!!!

Reindeargirl 11/22/10 - 11:15 am
So, these modular reactors,

So, these modular reactors, when they're spent, will contain deadly, highly radioactive long lived nuclear waste. Where will they be disposed of and how? Best guess? Dumped at site of origin, aka Savannah River. . anytime you fission uranium, you end up with deadly toxic waste. Why is there no mention of how they will deal with the waste? Are they factoring in the cost of how to deal with this waste into the price tag? who pays for these things, AND their waste? Taxpayers?

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